Colombia: Gustavo Petro fires and leaves officials who had been working in the presidency for almost 30 years without a pension

According to various Colombian media, more than 15 workers were fired without a clear explanation.

This Friday, December 1, 2023, Colombian media reported that the Administration of socialist President Gustavo Petro fired more than 15 officials who worked in the Communications Secretariat of the Casa de Nariño, the Colombian government palace.

W Radio reported three journalists from Colombia Hoy Radio, an assistant, photographers, a lighting technician, an announcer, a cameraman and digital media employees are among the dismissed officials.

Some of these workers, like Lino Manchola, were left without a job and a pension since they had been working in the government palace for almost 30 years.

"Today I write these heartfelt words to thank you for your time and lived experiences. It has been more than 30 years of service at the Presidency of the Republic, I leave with the satisfaction of having fulfilled my duty, but with the nostalgia of not having reached the stage for my pension. Thank you very much, I carry you in my heart," wrote one of the former officials.

Officially, the Petro Administration said the dismissals were because the officials had completed their contracts and would not be renewed. The workers stated that there was no explanation for the non-renewal, and the news took them by surprise.

María Paula Fonseca, Secretary of Communications and Press for the Casa de Nariño, justified the layoffs and said that new hires would be made depending on the needs of the government.

"There is no 'mass dismissal' in the Secretary of Communications and Press of the Presidency. Contracts that had a defined term were finalized in recent days. New hiring decisions are being made based on the real service needs," Fonseca said.

Another Colombian media, Caracol Radio, reported that the number of dismissals stood at 17 and occurred just when the Petro government is supposedly creating a new labor reform to protect Colombian workers.